October 23, 2010 Subject:
Proto Film Noir!
I recently watched Brower's "Behind Green Lights", and feeling I might have judged his directorship too harshly on discovoring he passed away early in the year of that film's release (explaining the rushed to the distributors feeling I got), I decided I needed to watch another of his works. I chose this gem unstead of one of his westerns because no one had yet reviewed it; I'm glad I did.
This film, made at the height of The Great Depression, is classifiable as film noir, I think. The acting is a bit stiff, but the story and storytelling are excellent. And, essential for noir characterization, all the good guys and gals have got some real life gray dirt on their white hats.
Just released from prison Steve meets party girl Mae in the big city, they find true love together, and decide to live an honest life together. However poor Steve can't find an honest job. He's finally given a chance by some shady investment brokers who intend to use him as the fall guy when they pull the plug on their crooked operations; that was what got him in prison in the first place, so he's the perfect sap for them. New friend Tom brings in a couple of interesting sub-stories, adding much depth to the Mae and Steve characters.
The uploaded film is a bit jumpy in places, obscuring some dialog, but this film is well worth a watch. You won't be disappointed.
If the acting wasn't so stiff, I'd give this one 5 stars.